African Elephants

Part of Hall of African Mammals.

Five african elephant mounts on a raised pedestal in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals. Alvaro Keding/© AMNH

The African elephant is the largest living land mammal. Both male and female African elephants have ivory tusks.

For the most part, elephants are hunted for their ivory. In 1930, between 5 and 10 million elephants roamed Africa's forest savanna and semi-desert. By 1989, that number had dropped to 600,000. In the decade between 1979 and 1989 alone, the African elephant population was cut in half.